Charlotte Motor Speedway Revamps ‘Roval’ for NASCAR Playoff to Enhance Racing Excitement

Charlotte Motor Speedway Revamps Roval for NASCAR Playoff to Enhance Racing Excitement
Charlotte Motor Speedway Revamps Roval for NASCAR Playoff to Enhance Racing Excitement

Charlotte Motor Speedway is set to reconfigure its 17-turn, 2.28-mile “roval” course ahead of the Oct. 13 playoff race, aiming to create more passing opportunities and elevate the competition. This adjustment comes as the Bank of America Roval 400 marks the final race before the playoff field narrows from 12 to eight drivers.

Key Changes to the Roval

The modifications to the roval, a hybrid of road and oval courses, include:

  • Extended Straightaway: The straightaway coming out of Turn 5 will be lengthened.
  • New Turn 6: This new section will direct the field towards a much sharper hairpin in Turn 7.
  • Sharper Apex in Turn 16: The final chicane on the front stretch will see a sharper apex.

Despite these changes, the course will maintain its 17 turns and approximate 2.28-mile length, featuring a 35-foot elevation change.

Enhancing Competition

“Two distinct braking zones are going to really help the competition and provide great overtaking opportunities.

“One of the biggest things we’ve heard is about off-throttle time in oval racing. In road-course racing, you want as much of an opportunity as possible for a driver to play with the brake pedal, the gas pedal and the steering wheel.

“That’s what a well-designed track is going to provide — those overtaking opportunities,” said Marcus Smith, president and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, emphasising the importance of creating a track that allows drivers to utilize the brake pedal, gas pedal, and steering wheel effectively, enhancing off-throttle time in oval racing.

Drivers’ Perspectives

Ryan Blaney, the 2018 race winner, highlighted the impact of the new Turn 7. “”You’re going to see a lot of good passes there, as far as people getting runs, diving it in there and taking chances. I thought that corner was tight the way it was before, but it’s going to be even tighter now. It’s going to be really exciting. Drivers like change, if it’s for a better show and for better racing that it produces. I think they’ve done that here today,” said Blaney.

The updates to the Charlotte Motor Speedway roval are anticipated to not only challenge drivers but also enhance the overall spectacle of the NASCAR playoff race, promising an intense and thrilling competition.

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